[Marxism] Re: Queries: environment & related

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Mon Dec 20 21:25:57 MST 2004


Thanks for replying. I will continue the Devil’s Advocate act for a bit

>>I have no idea what it means to make people part of the solution.<<

How about mass world-wide brainstorming about how to solve environmental
problems – reafforestation, increasing the efficiency of fuel cells, a
return to organic farming, breaking down the separation of town and
country? Wouldn’t a socialist society mobilise its entire population in the
search for solutions?

>>There are no "socialist" techniques for eliminating greenhouse emissions.
To enjoy the good life, you need to consume energy. This means coal, oil
and gas. When you burn this stuff, it throws off co2. There's nothing you
can read in Karl Marx that will stop the production of co2.<<

But of course there are renewable energy technologies already that don’t
“mean coal, oil and gas”. The choice whether to invest in them is partly
social and political. More importantly, what I got out of Foster’s book is
that the environmental crisis is linked to humans’ dual alienation from
nature (separation of town and country) and their own past labour. Isn’t
this the core of that irrationality of capitalism you refer to? Which does
suggest that Marx’s ideas might be of some use in tackling environmental

>>Unfortunately, except for people like John Bellamy Foster, Paul Burkett,
Mark Jones and Walt Contreras Sheasby--two late and lamented comrades who
were on Marxmail--and Howie Hawkins who lurks here, there has not been much
of a synthesis going on.<<

I will hope that Howie responds off-list, and I'll search the archives for
Mark and Walt’s contributions. Can you point me towards the works of Paul


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